In BART police body-camera footage of a deadly officer-involved shooting last month, released by the agency on Wednesday, three shots are heard as an officer appears to shoot a man in the back during his last moments.
Shaleem Tindle, 28, was killed at 4:41 p.m. Jan. 3 on the 1400 block of Seventh Street across from the West Oakland BART station. His family had recently viewed a full version of the body cam video and had previously leaked to the media a short cell phone clip they captured during the showing.
The videos do not clearly show Tindle holding a gun, as BART police have insisted, although police cautioned it’s just one piece of information that should not be taken out of context.
At a press conference late Wednesday afternoon, apparently responding to the family’s release of the shorter video clip, BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas made the full video public for the first time. He also affirmed that the BART officer involved, Joseph Mateu, was back on duty two weeks after the incident.
Rojas criticized the leaked version’s impact on the ongoing investigation.
“I think it does present problems when we’re trying to protect the integrity of the investigation,” Rojas said. “We do have to remember it is evidence that is graphic and desired by a lot of people to view. … The video of just one piece of evidence … it does take the investigation out of context.”
The footage released by BART police is the full unedited sequence captured by Officer Mateu’s body camera from that day. In the just-over one-minute video, the officer runs to the scene where he sees two men in a scuffle, repeatedly shouting “Let me see your hands” directed at both men.
Tindle has his back to Mateu and was on his knees when he was approached by the officer. Then three shots can be heard, and Tindle is seen rolling over on his back, his empty hands in the air, as he looks over at the officer.
Police said Tindle was shot by Mateu for allegedly refusing to drop a gun. The other man, who appears in the video, had been in a struggle with Tindle and also was wounded. He was said to be shot in the leg, according to witnesses and Tindle’s family attorney.
In stills from the released video, BART officials highlight what appears to be a gun — first in the other man’s hand — and then in the next frame on the ground near Tindle as he rolls over on his back.
The chief said authorities believe that the gun may have been in Tindle’s hands when he was shot, and then his hands were up and empty after he was shot by the officer.
He asked the public to reserve judgment until the “natural course of the investigation is complete.”
Karim Mayfield, Tindle’s brother and a professional boxer, posted the shorter, 20-second video clip online with the caption “… leaked footage of my brothers murder, proving that the police and media lied! My brother was shot in his back unarmed.”
An unidentified black object could be seen at Tindle’s feet, in between him and the other man, in both the full video and short clip. However, it wasn’t identified by authorities on Wednesday.
Oakland police said that the investigation is active and ongoing and would not release any additional information on Wednesday, including the video, said Officer Johnna Watson.
Last week, his family announced they would be filing a claim against BART and the officer, seeking damages for the wrongful death. They also called for the public release of the video and prosecution by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office against Mateu.
John Burris, the family’s attorney, said that the video did not support the police narrative of what occurred that day and claims that the police narrative is false. He said Wednesday that he wasn’t aware that the family even had the short video clip.
He maintains that the body-camera video footage shows Tindle was unarmed and appeared to be complying with the officer. The man had his back to Mateu and was bringing his empty hands into the air when he was shot, according to Burris.
“He didn’t have a basis to just willy-nilly decide to just recklessly shoot somebody without knowing what in fact that person had done or was doing at the time he shot him,” Burris said.
Burris said the officer “didn’t have enough information to justify using deadly force.”
“There is no lawful or justifiable reason for Officer Mateu to fire three shots into Shaleem’s back,” Burris said.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the incident as is Oakland Police Department.
Las Vegas Metro police shot and killed a 22-year-old man early Friday morning after he reached for a weapon and defied commands repeatedly, police said.
Officers Francisco Rivera, 28, and Padilla Mills, 23, were involved in the shooting in the 200 block of Madge Lane, near Charleston Boulevard and Sloan Lane.
Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Monday said officers were on their way to another call when they spotted Junior David Lopez driving recklessly with two women in a blue Chrysler 300.
“Hey, what are you doing? Stay in the car man,” one of the officers yelled. “Stay in the ****ing car! Don’t move! Do not ****ing move!”
When officers stopped the vehicle, Lopez got out of the vehicle with a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380 firearm in his hand then tossed it on the ground, police said.
Zimmerman said Lopez defied officers’ commands to put his hands up and step away from the weapon. Instead Lopez grabbed the firearm and raised it, he said.
“Hey, get away from the gun!” officers yelled. “Do not move! Don’t reach for the gun, man. Do not reach the gun.”
Officers believe the body camera footage shows Lopez twice saying the words “shoot me.”
“I don’t know what was going through his head, but he was given ample opportunity to be taken into custody and he wasn’t,” Zimmerman said.
Officers Rivera and Mills both fired their weapons. Lopez fell to the ground and rolled over. Police say he reached for the guns once more. Officer Mills fired one more round, striking Lopez.
“We’re going to need medical for the subject,” one of the officers said, over his radio. “He’s reaching. Don’t reach for it! … His 4-13 is about one foot from his left hand. Don’t!”
Lopez was taken to Sunrise Hospital where he later died at 5:15 a.m.
The two women in the car were not injured. One was Lopez’ girlfriend and the owner of the vehicle. The other was a friend.
Both women on Monday night.
“I remember when we got pulled over they told us to get the **** out of the car, for him to get the **** out of the car. Why don’t I hear that in the video?” said Lopez’s girlfriend, Amber. “He was the best thing in my life… He said, ‘Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me.’ You can’t hear the don’t, but you can hear him. ‘Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me.'”
Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman said 22-year-old Junior Lopez told officers to shoot him, twice.
“I don’t know what was going through his head but he was given ample opportunity to be taken into custody and he wasn’t.”
Lopez’s girlfriend said he was yelling, “Don’t shoot me!”
Lopez’s girlfriend also says officers told him to get out of the car… before they yelled at him to get back in the car. She argues that the first portion was conveniently cut out of the video released today.
“Everything they said is not true,” said Jorge Luis Martinez, Lopez’s father. “The video is not complete. ”
Lopez had one prior charge for false statement to a police officer in North Las Vegas in 2016
Both officers have been employed with Metro since May 2016. They are both assigned to the Community Policing Division Northeast Area Command. They were both placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
How an anti-illegal immigration YouTuber turned a $280 fine into a federal criminal trial
It began as a $280 citation for using a video camera in a courthouse.
But to Gary Gileno, at stake was much more than the couple hundred bucks he was told to pay.
An attorney for the anti-illegal immigration activist and prolific YouTuber told a judge Friday that the four-hour trial over the fine was really about preventing government abuse of power, protecting the rights of journalists and ensuring that citizens can hold public officials accountable.
“If he is convicted … it’ll chill speech, it’ll chill journalism, it’ll say the federal government has a superpower to do whatever it wants,” attorney William Becker said. “This is unprecedented. This is what we expect to see in a police state.”
A federal prosecutor dismissed the rhetoric, arguing the Class C misdemeanor charge was simply about Gileno’s refusal to follow a security officer’s orders.
The unusual legal battle came after Gileno, 32, tried to bring a video camera into a meeting of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission last year. California law specifically allows the public to use recording devices at such meetings, but the commission’s meeting in August was held at a federal appellate court building where filming is prohibited.
Someone just detained at federal courthouse, where public Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission meeting takin place, 4 trying 2 take pic
The commission, a civilian panel set up to monitor the Sheriff’s Department and listen to public concerns about the agency, had been gathering in different locations around the county since it began meeting in January 2017. This was the first time commissioners had met at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals building in Pasadena.
As Gileno entered the courthouse, deputy U.S. marshals told him he had to leave his camera in his car. Gileno insisted he had a right to record the meeting under the First Amendment and the state’s open meetings law, known as the Brown Act, and began filming the officers.
After Gileno was cited, Robert C. Bonner, a former federal judge who chairs the commission, told The Times he wasn’t aware of certain provisions of the state’s open meetings law and relied on the county’s lawyers for legal advice.
Rather than pay the fine, Gileno opted to take his case to trial, facing a penalty of up to a $10,000 fine and 30 days in jail if found guilty.
Gileno, who began his YouTube career after showing up at his local council meeting in West Covina, said he has made a living off of his channel in recent years. His copious videos — 3,237 and counting — focus primarily on denouncing illegal immigration and promoting supporters of President Trump. His criminal case may have been a boon for his channel — a recent screed on his own prosecution was viewed more than 10,000 times.
On Friday, two court security officers who clashed with Gileno took the stand and testified that there were signs clearly posted saying photography wasn’t allowed in the courthouse. They said Gileno grew belligerent and disruptive, turning on his camera after being warned several times that it was not allowed.
Testifying in his own defense, Gileno said he was a freelance citizen journalist who has attended and filmed local government meetings and legislative town halls for about five years.
“I believe in the United States of America, you should be able to keep tabs on the government,” he said.
In more than 250 other public meetings he attended, he said, he never had an issue with bringing in his video camera. He said the security officer all of a sudden “exploded” at him, so he turned on his camera “to document what I felt was a violation of my rights at the time.”
Assistant U.S. Atty. Benedetto Lee Balding said Gileno’s disruption of security officers working at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was no small matter. It was Gileno who escalated the encounter by refusing to go along with the officers’ orders, he said.
“He decided unilaterally he didn’t have to follow the rules,” the prosecutor said.
Becker, who primarily represents conservatives and Christians in free-speech cases, worked for free on Gileno’s case. He argued that the federal courthouse essentially became a “limited public forum” when it hosted the commission meeting, which Gileno should have been allowed to film under the state law.
Magistrate Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth said she could understand why Gileno was angry and frustrated given his past experience filming the meetings, but she said that didn’t excuse his failure to follow orders. Security at the appellate courthouse, where justices could be filmed without their knowledge, was a serious concern, the judge said.
“Even if these seem arbitrary or don’t make any sense to Mr. Gileno or anybody else, clearly they serve this very important purpose,” Rosenbluth said, finding Gileno guilty.
Acknowledging that a “misunderstanding” had led to the kerfuffle, the prosecutor recommended a sentence of no fine, which would leave Gileno having to pay just $35 in court fees. Rosenbluth said she felt the need for “some consequences” and ordered Gileno to pay a $50 fine, bringing his total penalty to $85 with the fees.
Gileno said he was “outraged” and “astounded.” After the verdict, he turned to nine supporters in the audience, including a man in a red “Make California Great Again” hat, and exclaimed, “I was never read my rights!”
His attorney said they would seriously consider an appeal and possibly a civil lawsuit against the government.
“What the judge just said is if a city council can move to a federal building, they can keep the meeting secret,” Gileno said. “That’s grossly illegal.”